“Grim Milestone”: 16 Years Without a Traffic-Fatality-Free Day in Texas

On November 7, the Texas Department of Transportation marked a “grim milestone”: “At least one person has died each and every day on Texas roads since November 7, 2000.” That is sixteen years, or 5,845 days, without a day where no one has died in a motor vehicle crash in Texas. TxDOT has created an “#EndTheStreakTX” social media campaign to educate drivers “in an effort to end this tragic trend.”

Since November 7, 2000, at least 55,578 people have died from motor vehicle crashes on Texas roadways. According to TxDOT, the leading causes are failure to stay in one lane, alcohol, and speed.

In absolute numbers, Texas roads are the deadliest in America: According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there were 3,538 motor vehicle crash deaths in Texas in 2014 alone. The second-deadliest state, California, had 15% fewer fatalities at 3,074, despite having a 44% larger population and 37% more vehicle miles travelled than Texas.

Even adjusted for population and miles travelled, Texas’s roads are significantly deadlier than the national average: Texas experienced 13.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 2014, compared to 10.2 in the U.S. at large, and 1.46 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared to the national average of 1.08.

While Texas was not the deadliest state in the country based on these statistics-Wyoming had a shocking 25.7 deaths per 100,000 population, and South Carolina had 1.65 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles-it was certainly the deadliest among states with large populations (over 10 million) or heavily-travelled roads (over 100 billion vehicle miles) in 2014. To help fight this trend, TxDOT recommends four simple tips:

•· “Buckle seatbelt – all passengers need to be buckled.”

•· “Never drink and drive – drunk driving kills; get a sober ride home.”

•· “Pay attention – put your phone away and avoid distractions.”

•· “Drive the speed limit – always follow speed limits and drive slower speeds when weather or conditions warrant.”

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle crash, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.